Interest Alternative View?


The following is a question with the intention of gaining knowledge;

There is a Wikipedia article on riba that seems to suggest that there is an alternative view as to whether modern interest is the same as riba (and that there are differences making modern interest acceptable !) There are also banks in some Muslim countries that seem to offer interest.

What are your views on this? I do not know how credible/widespread this alternative view is and the details of what it is based on. Could you please explain this alternative view and what the counter points are?

Many thanks


May Allah bless you.

I am aware of this argument. A similar claim was made in a book called ‘Islamic Banking a $300 billion deception’.
The argument is not based on the prohibition of riba, rather it is based on what is riba? Is it interest or is it usury?

They separate both concept and argue that, the reason why riba is haram, is because of the exploitation caused to the debtor. This is what they call usury.

On the other hand, interest for them is absolutely fine. In another word, if you are a rich person who takes out a loan, and you are happy to pay the interest, then this is not usury, because there is not real oppression done on you.

You may refer to the many articles and books that address the Islamic philosophical nature of interest. Whether you call it interest or usury, it is both the same and both are haram.

Shihab Al Deen Al Qarafi was a well known maliki jurist and one of the greatest Islamic theoretician. He says that if a person did not feel oppressed, and is happy to pay interest on a loan, then it is still haram for him to do so.
Oppression is one reason for the prohibition of riba. The other reason, is the fact that the prohibition comes directly from the Word of God. Hence, if the oppression is not present, the Word of God remains unchanged. Thus, the prohibition too will not change.

My opinion follows the view of Qarafi.

And Allah knows best!

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Jzkl for such a clear response and helping to increase knowledge!